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Elizabeth  Cook
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Obituary for Elizabeth Cook

Elizabeth Anne (Harvey) Cook, former French teacher at Hoover High School, passed away peacefully at age 96 on Friday,

Feb. 16, 2018 in San Diego, where she had resided for the past 11 years. A memorial service will be held at St John's Lutheran at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26.

Previously, Elizabeth had been a lifelong resident of Des Moines. Born in Casey, IA, to Clarence W. Harvey and Rhoda May (Leland) Harvey, her parents moved the family to Des Moines two years later, and by 1926 she was growing up across the street from Stowe School.

She graduated from East High School as valedictorian of the class of January, 1939. As a youth, she was an accomplished pianist, performing at various civic events prior to leaving for college at the University of Iowa.

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Iowa in 1943, again as valedictorian, and joined the WAVEs in July of that year. She was assigned to the Navy meteorology service, becoming one of the first few dozen women ever to gain the Aerographer's Mate rating. She later became an officer and held the rank of 1st Lieutenant when the war ended. On December 15, 1944 she married USMC Cpl. George H. Cook, whom she had met at the university, at the Old South Church in Boston, MA.

Following the war, Elizabeth returned to her studies and earned a Masters in Romance Languages while George obtained a law degree. After starting her family, she joined the foreign language faculty at Hoover High School in 1968 as the French teacher and served for 19 years, retiring in 1987. "Mrs. Cook" was devoted to her students, taking groups to France on several occasions, and hosting a French foreign student in her home for a school year.

In retirement, Elizabeth loved gardening, music, reading and needlework, and could often be seen in the large garden that stood for decades across from Stowe Elementary School.

She is survived by her children David Cook and Cynthia Cook of San Diego, and two grandchildren.


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